On March 22, 3021, Jiang Chengyan was carefully looking at the documents in his hand as he sat in the meeting room of the criminal investigation team. Everyone walked into the meeting room one after another. After taking their seats, they took out their notebooks and waited for the meeting to start.
Jiang Chengyan glanced up at the crowd, and said, “Since everyone is here, let's start meeting. We have received a case today, so let’s go over the basic details of the case. We’ll first go over the information of the victim.”
Jiang Chengyan pasted the photo on the table onto the whiteboard, and said, "Ma Xiaohan, 7 years old, born on May 8, 3012, lives in Room 701, Floor 7, Building 2, Ping'an Community. Father, Ma Donghai, 35 years old, works in the Yan family’s hotel as the general manager. His mother, Qiao Hui, is 32 years old and works as a customer service manager at Zhenxing Bank. On March 18, 3021, Ma Xiaohan was confirmed dead in the municipal hospital. The cause of death written on the hospital’s report of death was heart failure. His father Ma Donghai held some suspicions on the cause of his death and applied for the intervention of a forensic investigator. Su Ke released the autopsy report yesterday in the afternoon. Su Ke, you’re up.”
Su Ke nodded and said, "During the autopsy on Ma Xiaohan, it was found that he did indeed die of heart failure, but he had one less kidney in his body. I asked the family of the deceased, and they reported that they never had any instances of organ transplants, nor did they sign an organ transplant agreement. This means that someone removed Ma Xiaohan’s body organs after his death.”
“How could the hospital allow for something like this to happen?" Liu Ran frowned.
"Of course the hospital would not allow for malpractice to occur. I suspect that some surgeons are involved in the organ trade.” Su Ke paused, then said, “Due to the missing organ, I had some doubts about the cause of Ma Xiaohan’s death. I conducted another toxicology test and found that there was an excessive amount of foxglove in Ma Xiaohan's body. Foxglove is a medicine used for treating heart disease. If used in normal doses, it can treat heart diseases, but an overdose of foxglove would serve as a catalyst for the death of the patient. I had asked Ma Xiaohan’s family and his parents said that they had always been by his side ever since he was hospitalised, so it is very unlikely for an overdose to occur. When we combine this with the fact that Ma Xiaohan’s body organs had been illegally removed, I suspect that someone had planned for his death. His MO was to inject an overdose of foxglove into Ma Xiaohan’s body to poison him, leading to heart failure.”
Yao Min exclaimed in shock, "Su Ke, you mean someone tried to poison the child to kill him in order to get his organs? This doctor is too inhumane!"
"Well, this is the most reasonable inference based on the clues we have so far. Organ removal requires an advanced professional knowledge and surgical experience. With how cleanly the murderer carried it out, he has considerable professional knowledge on surgery at the least, as well as experience to back it up. There’s a very high possibility that he’s a doctor in the hospital.”
“Now that everyone is clear on the situation at hand, follow me.”
Everyone quickly left the meeting room and drove to the municipal hospital, which caused unnecessary panic. They did not make a big fuss, but went directly to the dean’s office.
Jiang Chengyan knocked on the door and walked in after hearing an answer from the other side. Yao Min followed him, while the other team members stayed outside.
The dean was a middle-aged man with glasses with a rather plump figure. When he saw Jiang Chengyan enter his office, he asked, confused, “Who are you?”
Jiang Chengyan took out his ID and said, "Dean Huang, we are from the criminal investigation unit and we are investigating Ma Xiaohan's death. I hope you can cooperate."
"Ma Xiaohan?" Huang Weimin frowned slightly, and said, "Since Captain Jiang brought your people here today, does it mean that Ma Xiaohan’s cause of death is unclear?”
Jiang Chengyan nodded and said, "Not only is the cause of death doubtful, but he also lacks a kidney in his body. The perpetrator must have had access to his corpse as well as the expertise to remove organs. I have reasons to suspect that the culprit is someone from your hospital, which would inevitably damage the reputation of the hospital. I hope Dean Huang can cooperate with our investigation.”
When he thought of the negative impact of this incident, Huang Weimin nodded hastily, and said, "Captain Jiang, don't worry. We will definitely cooperate with the police, but I hope you will not publicise this incident."
“Don’t worry, our police station has a rule that we are not allowed to disclose any information about the case.” Jiang Chengyan paused and said, "Dean Huang, who was Ma Xiaohan's attending doctor? Are they in the hospital now?"
"Ma Xiaohan's attending doctor is Xiao Lan. She should be at work today. Wait a minute. I'll call her and ask her to come over."
Huang Weimin connected Xiao Lan's office and told her to come over immediately.
Jiang Chengyan then asked, "Dean Huang, is there any monitoring in the operating room of your hospital?"
"Yes, we do. For such a major operation, we will leave a surveillance video in our records to preserve as evidence. If Captain Jiang wants it, I will ask someone to send it over."
"There’s no need to bother Dean Huang. Where is your surveillance room? I'll send someone over."
"There is a row of three-story buildings at the northeast corner of the hospital gate. You can find out when you go in and ask."
Jiang Chengyan walked to the door of the office, looked at Li Tong and said, "Li Tong, you and Zhang Liang go to the monitoring room of the hospital to obtain the surveillance video of Ma Xiaohan's last operation. The surveillance room is in a three-story building at the northeast corner of the hospital gate."
"Liu Ran, Wang Bin, go and check the on-duty records of Ma Xiaohan's ward. Find out the name of the nurse who changed the drip for him."
"Guo Hai, Chen Miao, go and find out where the medical waste goes, especially the drip bottle that belonged to Ma Xiohan.”
Everyone left one after another. Jiang Chengyan returned to the dean's office again and said, "Dean Huang, how much do you know about Xiao Lan?"
"Xiao Lan is the technical backbone of our hospital. She became the director at a young age, which is enough to prove her capabilities. She also has a really good character. She cares for her colleagues and is conscientious when carrying out her duty for her patients. I would find it really hard to believe if you told me that she was a criminal.”
“Then do you know about her family situation? Is there anyone in the family who is sick and urgently needs a kidney transplant?”
Huang Weimin shook his head and said, "I haven't heard anything about this. At least, our hospital doesn't have any patients related to her who need kidney transplants."
While the two were talking, there was a knock on the office door. Huang Weimin subconsciously glanced at Jiang Chengyan, and said in response, "Come in."
The door was opened and a woman in her thirties walked in. Her long hair was pulled back and she was wearing a white coat. She was neatly dressed and was a typical example of a professional.
Xiao Lan glanced at Jiang Chengyan and Yao Min, and said, "Dean, you called for me?"
Huang Weimin pointed to the two and introduced them, "Director Xiao, these are police officers from the criminal investigation team, and this is Captain Jiang. They came here regarding Ma Xiaohan."
"Ma Xiaohan?" Xiao Lan frowned and said, "Ma Xiaohan was a patient with congenital heart disease and died of heart failure. Are there any issues with that?"
Jiang Chengyan said calmly, "Ma Xiaohan did die of heart failure, but when the forensic doctor dissected his body, he found that a kidney was missing and the removal method was very professional. Does Direction Xiao have anything to explain about this matter?”
Xiao Lan's brows furrowed more and more tightly, and said, "Missing a kidney? That’s impossible. His operation only targeted the heart and we didn't touch his other organs. As this is a major operation, there are surveillance videos available. You can check them if you don’t believe me. And that day, his heart stopped beating before we even entered the operating room. There was no operation at all.”
“We will have a look at it. In addition to missing a kidney, the forensic doctor had also detected an excessive amount of foxglove in Ma Xiaohan’s body. Director Xiao is a doctor in the department of cardiac surgery. You should know what excessive doses of foxglove would lead to.”
Xiao Lan’s expression immediately darkened. No one knew the characteristics of foxglove better than she did, a cardiac surgeon. “I had warned the family members again and again that they must use the medicine according to the dosage I had prescribed. However, if the adults were not around, it’s inevitable that the child would take the wrong amount. The hospital is not to blame for this.”
“Director Xiao, if it was the overdose alone, you may be right that the child took the wrong dosage without knowing any better. However, don’t forget that his kidney is missing. With these two points combined, we have reason to suspect that someone intentionally poisoned Ma Xiaohan for his organs.”
Xiao Lan had to admit that what Jiang Chengyan said was reasonable and her face became even more unsightly, saying, “Captain Jiang, although I am Ma Xiaohan's attending doctor, I definitely prescribed his medicine according to the normal dosage. As for his missing kidney, I really did not know about it. During the rescue, not only were the nurses present several times, so was Dr. Zhang from the Cardiac Surgery Department. It would be impossible for me to do such a thing under the watchful eyes of everyone there.”
"After the declaration of Ma Xiaohan's death, who handled the body?"
"After the rescue failed, I left the operating room and explained the patient's condition to the patient's family members. The rest of the work was handed over to Dr. Zhang, who also handled the corpse."
"Doctor Zhang? What's his full name? Did he come to work today?"
"His name is Zhang Wei. He’s also a cardiac surgeon. He seems to have asked for leave and didn't come today."
"Zhang Wei?" Jiang Chengyan frowned slightly, and suddenly remembered that the doctor he met in the morgue that day was also called Zhang Wei. "A male doctor with an ordinary appearance, a medium build, and wore a pair of black-rimmed glasses?"
"Doctor Zhang does often wear a pair of black-rimmed glasses. Does Captain Jiang know him?"
"Does Director Xiao have his contact information?"
"Yes, I have his mobile phone number."
"Then please, Director Xiao, could you call him and ask him where he is now?"
Xiao Lan nodded, took out her mobile phone and called Zhang Wei. After listening to the mechanical voice over the phone, she said, "His mobile phone is turned off. I can't get through."
"What’s his home address?"
"I don't know, but he should have filled in that information when he entered the hospital." Xiao Lan looked at Huang Weimin.
"Captain Jiang, please wait a moment. I'll pull up Zhang Wei's information right now."
Huang Weimin logged into the hospital’s internal network and retrieved Zhang Wei's information. After Jiang Chengyan took the photo of it, he looked at Xiao Lan and said, "Director Xiao, please don't leave Huacheng until the suspicion on you is cleared."
Xiao Lan nodded and said, "Captain Jiang, don't worry, I will actively cooperate with the investigation."
Jiang Chengyan didn't speak any further and drove to Changhong Community where Zhang Wei lived with Yao Min. They found the door to Zhang Wei’s house, knocked on the door and heard a voice answer from the other side, “I’m coming, I’m coming! Who is it?”
Yao Min glanced at Jiang Chengyan and said, "Police, please open the door."
The door of the house was quickly pulled wide open and an old woman appeared at the door. She looked at the two of them and asked, confused, “Who are you looking for?”
"Auntie, may I ask if Zhang Wei lives here?"
The old woman nodded hesitantly, and said, "You’re the police? Why are you looking for our Ah Wei?"
"Auntie, don't be nervous. We're just looking for him to understand the situation. Is Zhang Wei at home?"